Post List

Social Science posts

(Modify Search »)

  • January 19, 2011
  • 04:24 PM

All about the attitude

by FrauTech in Design. Build. Play.

Does the old saying fake it old you make it hold any water? Turns out maybe. Researchers from Columbia and Harvard Universities posed subjects in one of four positions: two high power positions(expansive, open limbs) and two low power positions(contractive, closed limbs). Then they measured risk taking, self-response about feelings, and testosterone and cortisol.The high power positions were sitting stretched in a chair with legs propped up on a table and arms behind the head as well as lea........ Read more »

  • January 19, 2011
  • 10:08 AM

Japanese Men Drink, Eat Fatty Food, Have Fun and Die

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

If you have ever had the pleasure of being in a boisterous Tokyo bar at night, eating and drinking amongst a din that would sear the armour off a tank,you get the feeling that this is what pure, hedonistic joy must be like. And, according to this article by Ikeda et al. (2011), Japanese men love it as well. The downer seems to be that while all that upbeat male bonding is good for lowering stress, the accompanying fat and alcohol brings on health effects of a less favourable kind.... Read more »

  • January 19, 2011
  • 09:48 AM

Was Steven Pinker right after all?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

At the end of the 1990s, cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker infamously characterized music as “auditory cheesecake”: a delightful dessert but, from an evolutionary perspective, no more than a by-product of language. But Pinker was probably right when he wrote: “I suspect music is auditory cheesecake, an exquisite confection crafted to tickle the sensitive spots of...our mental faculties.” Or, to express his idea less graphically: music affects our brains at specific places, thereby sti........ Read more »

  • January 19, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Martin Luther King, Jr. & Eliot Spitzer: On letting people off the hook [Part II]:

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Effron & Monin’s work on ambiguous and blatant transgressions has multiple applications for our work. In the past, we’ve blogged about Tiger Woods, Eliot Spitzer,  and David Letterman. We want to take some time to discuss Effron & Monin’s work in the context of our prior writing on high profile falls from grace. (See Part [...]

Related posts:Martin Luther King, Jr. & Eliot Spitzer: On letting people off the hook [Part I]
Apology redux: Doing it right (and doing it wrong)
El........ Read more »

Effron DA, & Monin B. (2010) Letting people off the hook: when do good deeds excuse transgressions?. Personality and social psychology bulletin, 36(12), 1618-34. PMID: 20978222  

  • January 19, 2011
  • 02:00 AM

Does Google push the most popular content rather than act as a neutral tool?

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

Search engines and the production of academic knowledge From International Journal of Cultural Studies Surveys prove that students performing topic searches for scholarly papers overwhelmingly choose search engines, rather than library-based research discovery networks, as their preferred starting-point. Are they getting the best and most relevant information? This article argues that search engines in general, and [...]... Read more »

van Dijck, J. (2010) Search engines and the production of academic knowledge. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 13(6), 574-592. DOI: 10.1177/1367877910376582  

  • January 18, 2011
  • 07:08 PM

"Perceptions of Promise: Biology, Society, Art" Explores the Social Dimensions of Life Science Technologies

by Matthew C. Nisbet in Age of Engagement

Despite the important role of the arts in enabling public expression, learning, and participation relative to science, there is an unfortunate tendency to think about the relationship in terms of "two cultures" divided. This metaphor has come to dominate discourse about science and society more ...Read More... Read more »

Nisbet, M., Hixon, M., Moore, K., & Nelson, M. (2010) Four cultures: new synergies for engaging society on climate change. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 8(6), 329-331. DOI: 10.1890/1540-9295-8.6.329  

  • January 18, 2011
  • 01:57 PM

The Emotional Depth of a Turnip—Do Men and Women Read Emotions Differently?

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

She was clearly upset. The disgust on her face was apparent. As was her frustration when she shook her head at the man standing numbly beside her and said, "You have the emotional depth of a turnip!" The rest of us in the subway car did our best to look busy—headphones were put on, games were played on cell phones, even the morning newspaper made a few reappearances even though it was the evening rush hour.
I have to admit that I was somewhat amused by the situation because I'd recently direc........ Read more »

  • January 18, 2011
  • 11:53 AM

Are petro-states more aggressive?

by Henrik Karlstrøm in STS Guru

Discussing an interesting but seriously flawed article on the link between resources, political stability and aggresion... Read more »

  • January 18, 2011
  • 11:36 AM


by rattitude in Caring Carnivore

Labelling alerts consumers to qualities of the food that are not apparent from its intrinsic appearance.  these qualities are referred to variously as imperceptible, intrinsic or unobservable--and may include statuses such as 'organic' or 'genetically modified'. Concern about these qualities is termed "ethical preference". In the absence of labelling or other information that informs ethical choices, consumer are likely to feel less trust in the product. (Michalopoulos et al, 2008).Understa........ Read more »

  • January 18, 2011
  • 08:27 AM

Evolving Linguistic Replicators: Major Transitions and Grammaticalisation

by Wintz in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Just before Christmas I found myself in the pub speaking to Sean about his work on bilingualism, major transitions and the contrast between language change and the cultural evolution of language. Now, other than revealing that our social time is spent discussing our university work, the conversation brought up a distinction not often made: whilst language change is part of language evolution, the latter is also what we consider to be a major transition. As you evolutionary biologists will know, ........ Read more »

  • January 18, 2011
  • 04:43 AM

Putting it off

by David Winter in Careers - in Theory

Why have I left it so long  between the last posting and this one? Partly, of course, there was the Christmas break. Too many things to do (and besides, who is going to read this blog in preference to spending precious festive time with their loved ones?). Oh, and then there was that workshop on [...]... Read more »

  • January 18, 2011
  • 02:00 AM

How media obsession fuels public fascination with the ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ yet leaves other serial killers to serve their time as almost unknowns

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

When serial killers go unseen: The case of Trevor Joseph Hardy From Crime, Media and Culture UK headlines last week highlighted news regarding the denied plea of the ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ and confirmation he will spend all his life behind bars. This serial killer always sparks huge public interest. The article examines the differences in the [...]... Read more »

Wilson, D., Tolputt, H., Howe, N., & Kemp, D. (2010) When serial killers go unseen: The case of Trevor Joseph Hardy. Crime, Media, Culture, 6(2), 153-167. DOI: 10.1177/1741659010369952  

  • January 17, 2011
  • 07:19 AM

Vital topics forum in AA: ‘Nature and the human’

by gregdowney in Neuroanthropology

The question of ‘human nature’ is a fraught one for many anthropologists, especially those of us who pay special attention to human variation, Darwinian theory, and dynamic approaches to diversity in developmental questions.
The very concept ‘human nature’ can be the theoretical equivalent of the double-bind question, ‘So can you confirm that you no longer are a Creationist?’  Even conceding to respond to the question places us in a position where we wind up between the Scylla of th........ Read more »

Fuentes, A., Marks, J., Ingold, T., Sussman, R., Kirch, P., Brumfiel, E., Rapp, R., Ginsburg, F., Nader, L., & Kottak, C. (2010) On Nature and the Human. American Anthropologist, 112(4), 512-521. DOI: 10.1111/j.1548-1433.2010.01271.x  

  • January 17, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Martin Luther King, Jr. & Eliot Spitzer: On letting people off the hook [Part I]

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Martin Luther King, Jr. committed adultery. So did Eliot Spitzer. And although CNN’s David Gergen insists he did not compare Eliot Spitzer with Martin Luther King, Jr., we know of some researchers who did. Effron & Monin (2010) wondered what made the difference in how we decide to punish some people for bad behavior let others [...]

Related posts:Eliot Spitzer, Uncivil Behavior & Possibilities of Redemption
Apology redux: Doing it right (and doing it wrong)
Got morals?
... Read more »

Effron DA, & Monin B. (2010) Letting people off the hook: when do good deeds excuse transgressions?. Personality and social psychology bulletin, 36(12), 1618-34. PMID: 20978222  

  • January 17, 2011
  • 04:00 AM

Copernicus and the Star that was bigger than the Universe

by Alun in AlunSalt

I’ve been trying to watch Cosmos by Carl Sagan. I’ve never seen it and it’s proving to be a bit of a struggle. He definitely can write. Some of the sequences are fantastic, but some of it is badly dated. The thing that really grates to me is his dismissal of Ptolemy and his geocentric... Read more »

Graney, C.M. (2010) The Telescope Against Copernicus: Star Observations by Riccioli Supporting a Geocentric Universe. Journal for the History of Astronomy, 41(4), 453-467. info:/

  • January 17, 2011
  • 03:12 AM

Imitation and Social Cognition in Humans and Chimpanzees (I): Imitation, Overimitation, and Conformity

by Michael in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Imitation is often seen as one of the crucial foundations of culture because it is the basis of  social learning and social transmission. Only by imitating others and learning from them did human culture become cumulative, allowing humans to build and improve on the knowledge of previous generations. Thus, . . . → Read More: Imitation and Social Cognition in Humans and Chimpanzees (I): Imitation, Overimitation, and Conformity... Read more »

Lyons DE, Young AG, & Keil FC. (2007) The hidden structure of overimitation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(50), 19751-6. PMID: 18056814  

  • January 17, 2011
  • 01:51 AM

Of Boobs, Babes and the JAMA

by Pranab Chatterjee in Scepticemia

I have been an avid reader of the JAMA Online and especially been attracted to the cover art of every JAMA print issue. For those who do not know, the JAMA is the Journal of the American Medical Association and … Continue reading →... Read more »

Clark JP. (1999) Babes and boobs? analysis of JAMA cover art. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 319(7225), 1603-4. PMID: 10600956  

  • January 16, 2011
  • 06:25 PM

Don't Advocate from a Position of Hate

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By: Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - On some days, just watching the news can stop us cold. Those who work in law should be proud to be part of a system that, however imperfectly, resolves disputes with appeals to reason and judgment rather than force. But the opposite end of the spectrum was seen in last week's devestating shooting in Tucson that left six dead and fourteen injured. While the motives of the shooter remain hazy at the time of writing, one element seems clear: for whatever twisted reason, the........ Read more »

Blatt B, LeLacheur SF, Galinsky AD, Simmens SJ, & Greenberg L. (2010) Does perspective-taking increase patient satisfaction in medical encounters?. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 85(9), 1445-52. PMID: 20736672  

Wayne Brockriede. (1972) Arguers as Lovers. Philosophy and Rhetoric, 1-11. info:/

Horberg, E., Oveis, C., Keltner, D., & Cohen, A. (2009) Disgust and the moralization of purity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97(6), 963-976. DOI: 10.1037/a0017423  

  • January 16, 2011
  • 04:32 PM

P is happy and N is sad – a biological universal?

by Maria Wolters in Speech and Science

Twitter has been abuzz recently with news of a paper that claims to have found universal sound correlates of happiness and sadness: Auracher, J., Albers, S., Zhai, Y., Gareeva, G., & Stavniychuk, T. (2011). P Is for Happiness, N Is for Sadness: Universals in Sound Iconicity to Detect Emotions in Poetry Discourse Processes, 48 (1), [...]... Read more »

  • January 15, 2011
  • 10:31 PM

Does mathematical training increase our risk tolerance?

by Jason Collins in Evolving Economics

Humans are inherently risk averse. When offered a coin toss with a reward of $10,000 for heads but a loss of $10,000 for tails, most people would decline. They would likely agree to pay a significant sum to avoid the gamble, despite the expected value of the gamble being zero. When economists describe the preferences [...]... Read more »

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit